Donohoe gets go-ahead to hire managers for Apple’s tax billions

iPhone maker to start paying €13bn into escrow account pending appeal against ruling

The European Commission has ordered that Apple pay Ireland €13 billion in back taxes, but both the Government and the iPhone manufacturer have appealed the ruling. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

The European Commission has ordered that Apple pay Ireland €13 billion in back taxes, but both the Government and the iPhone manufacturer have appealed the ruling. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

 

The Cabinet has given the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, the go-ahead to begin the process of hiring managers for Apple’s tax billions pending an appeal against a European Union ruling.

Mr Donohoe brought a memorandum to Cabinet on the issue on Tuesday, and is expected to announce details later this week.

The European Commission has ordered that Apple pay Ireland €13 billion in back taxes, but both the Government and the iPhone manufacturer have appealed the ruling.

In December, Mr Donohoe said the State had reached agreement with Apple over the management of an escrow account into which the back taxes, plus interest, must be held pending the outcome of the legal appeals.

The money from Apple will start to be paid into the account from the first quarter of this year, more than a year after an original deadline was set by the EU to collect the money.

‘Escrow framework deed’

A Government spokesman said Mr Donohoe received Cabinet approval to “sign the escrow framework deed, which is the overarching contract with Apple that governs the escrow fund”. It was also noted that the memo “relates to the bespoke escrow arrangements which have been agreed with Apple that will enable the State to comply with the binding recovery obligation”.

Sources said Mr Donohoe will not announce this week that any companies or individuals have been appointed to manage the account, but will only say the hiring process will begin.

Ireland has already missed deadlines to hire account managers, but Government sources said EU tendering and procurement rules were at least partly to blame.

The State had planned to award contracts by mid-November last, according to tender documents it issued in July and September.